Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Weight Loss Tips

A couple of weeks ago I did a post on not over eating. Since this time of year is prime time for weight gain here are a few tips for weight loss. Trying to do the whole list every day can be very daunting, so maybe focus on one this week and see how you do. When you feel up to, try adding another.

This article had great tips that I think we can all use in our daily living...

Easy Ways to Lose Weight : What you Eat

Change what you eat...
-reduce red meat intake
-cut out fried foods
-start with soup or salad
-end with fruit

Change what you drink...
-cut or reduce soda intake
-drink lots of WATER!
-stop drinking diet drinks

Change what you do...
-keep a food diary
-learn about nutrition
-get a handle on emotional eating
-get MOVING!! (exercise, walking etc.

Ab work out

So lets talk abs for a minute...everyone wants them, and we all know how hard they are to get. I have been looking for great ab exercises and have found 10 that if done 3-4 times a week a know you will get the results you are looking for. The link is at the bottom of the page, so for now, I will just list the ab exercises you should do. Many of you have already done these, but it is always good to have them listed again so you can get crunching!

***For best results combine with cardio and strength training.

1. Bicycle Exercise
2. Captain's Chair Leg Raise

3. Exercise Ball Crunch

4. Vertical Leg Crunch

5. Torso Track
(sorry...no pic.)

The Torso Track is a tough exercise because it can hurt your back if you're not careful.

1. Grip the handles of the Torso Track and pull the abs in without holding your breath (as though bracing them).
2. Exhale and glide forward as far as you comfortably can. If you collapse in the middle and feel it in your back, you've gone too far.
3. Contract the abs to pull your body back.
4. Add tension by using more tension chords.

6. Long Arm Crunch

7. Reverse Crunch

8. Full Vertical Crunch

9. Ab Rocker
(sorry, no pic.)

The Ab Rocker (or roller) is number 9 for targeting the rectus abdominis. To do it right:

1. Sit on the Ab Rocker and grab the bars in each hand.
2. Contract the abs and rock forward, originating the movement from the abs rather than using momentum.
3. Release and repeat for 1-3 sets of 12-16 reps.
4. Go slowly to reduce momentum. Try to focus on the abs rather than pushing with the arms.

10. Plank (on elbows and toes)

Top 10 most effective ab exercises

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tips For NOT Overeating

Well folks it's that time of year again, the Thanksgiving feast will be served in three days. During this festive time of year many of us have a tendency to overeat...not only on Thanksgiving, but until the New Year has begun and we decide to re-evaluate our goals and our health. I have found 7 tips that I feel will be very useful during the holidays. I'm not saying we shouldn't enjoy and indulge a little, but my hope is that these tips will be good reminders to you through-out this season so we aren't continually feeling like we are bursting at the seams.

1) Most people tend to eat when they are bored.
Keep yourself pre-occupied between meals. Play games with friends and family, read a book, watch a movie, go for a walk (yes, even if there is snow on the ground. the fresh air will do you good) go sledding, etc. The list could go on, the point is, have a plan and stick to it!

2) Many eat much snack when they are stressed out.
Again, a 10-minute walk outside will help you to relax. A hot bath at the end of the day is always a great way to relax.

3) Socializing makes you eat more than you should.
At parties you will be offered many delicious foods, making it hard to control yourself to reasonable portions. What you can do is to eat a piece of fruit before you go out so your stomach feels less empty. Also, start with small portions, you can always go back for more and you will be surprised how quickly you get full.

4) Do not eat too fast.
Eat slowly. Sip water between bites. Chew thoroughly before swallowing.

5) Eat satisfying foods. Stay away from foods that give you a lot of calories for very little volume, such as soda drink and chocolate. The higher the fiber, protein, and water content of a food, the more likely it is to be satisfying in your stomach. Avoid eating lots of processed foods.

6) Use a smaller plate. When you looks at the small plate, your brain will tell you the portion is adequate.

7) Don’t eat while watching TV. You are looking at TV and not on your food. So, you tend to overeat even if you are already full.

***One more tip we don't really think about...GET ENOUGH SLEEP!! When you aren't getting enough sleep your body will be lacking energy, to compensate you will eat more. Your body needs to get energy from somewhere, if you aren't willing to sleep then your body will make you want to eat so that it can perform the daily tasks you require of it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

It's your turn to talk...

Have you ever had a ‘bad’ weekend as far as being healthy goes? Maybe you didn’t get your workout in or you ate your sugar intake for the month in one day…that was my about how my weekend went.

For me, having a bad day or a bad couple days has its benefits. It pushes me to really kick it into gear the next few weeks. I guess I can say I’m lucky that way, that falling below the line I like to meet daily pushes me to recommit and make new goals for myself immediately.

I know for most people when workouts are missed and diet plans goes down the drain it, more often than not, tends to turn into a snowball effect of bad events. One bad day leads to two, and then three and then before you know it it’s been three weeks and you may or may not be aware of how long it has been since you hit up the gym.

So this post is for the readers, what do you do to come back from a rough couple of days or weeks? Is it hard? Is it easy? Do you have a good friend or workout buddy that holds you accountable for the choices you make when it comes to exercise and eating good? Maybe it’s nothing that you even think about. SO tell me your story, this week I want to hear from you. Share your tips, because come on….who doesn’t like good advice?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Stability Ball Exercises

A good way to mix up you work outs is to incorporate a stability ball into your strength training. You might be doing bench press with weights while your neck and head rest on the ball, but at the same time you are engaging your core and getting a killer ab work out as well. There are many different exercises that can be done with a stability ball, but to get you started we will go over 4 different moves that I use frequently.

***Note-stability balls are for those who are more advanced and ready for a challenge. If you are just getting in to exercise I would recommend starting with more basic strength skills and working up adding a stability ball.

1. "Ball Pass"
This is a great exercise to work deep into your abs without even realizing you are doing so.
  • Lie on your back holding an exercise ball and lift your feet so your shins are parallel to the floor.
  • Lift your head, neck, and shoulders, and place the ball between your legs.
  • Now lower your legs and reach your arms back.
  • Come back up and grab the ball.
  • Continue to pass the ball back and forth from your hands to your legs 10 to 12 times.

2."Stability Ball Hyperextension"
This is a great exercise to work the lower back muscles.
  1. Lie on the belly on a stability ball. Position the legs straight in back with the toes touching the ground,and place the hands behind the head with the head down.
  2. Raise the upper body off the ball and slowly return. If you are a beginner, your range of motion may be smaller than if you are more advanced.
  3. To make this exercise more difficult, hold a weight plate behind the head.

3. "Stability Ball Sit-Ups"
Want to mix up your everyday sit-up routine? Try using a ball to make things just a bit harder. You can do side to side sit-ups and front sit-ups to start with.

4. "Stability Ball Bench Press"
Allow your upper back, neck and head to rest on the ball. You can use dumbbells or a bench press bar to perform this exercise. The less weight you use the easier the exercise becomes.

Hold the weights above your chest, elbows at a 90 degree angle. Push straight up and slowly come back down to starting position. Be careful not to let your arms go deeper than a 90 degree angle.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


The class highlight today is ZUMBA! This is one of my favorite classes to attend, there is so much energy in a Zumba class. It's fun, different and makes you want to come back for more.


Let's face it, working out can be healthy, rewarding and beneficial. Working out can be lots of things, but it's never been known to be an exhilarating experience…UNTIL NOW!

The Zumba® program fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy-to-follow moves to create a one-of-a-kind fitness program that will blow you away. Our goal is simple: We want you to want to work out, to love working out, to get hooked. Zumba® Fanatics achieve long-term benefits while experiencing an absolute blast in one exciting hour of calorie-burning, body-energizing, awe-inspiring movements meant to engage and captivate for life!

The routines feature interval training sessions where fast and slow rhythms and resistance training are combined to tone and sculpt your body while burning fat. Add some Latin flavor and international zest into the mix and you've got a Zumba® class!

In the past years, the Zumba® program has become nothing short of a revolution, spreading like wildfire, and positioning itself as the single most influential movement in the industry of fitness.

As of July 2009, the Zumba® program is being taught at over 40,000 locations in 75 countries, has sold millions of DVDs, and has changed the lives of Zumba® Fanatics worldwide with an astonishing five million participants taking Zumba classes every week.

Why? Because it's the best party around.


Celebrity fitness trainer, "Beto" Perez, stumbled upon the concept of Latin-inspired dance-fitness in his native Cali, Colombia in the mid-‘90s.

One day, he walked into his aerobics class and realized he had forgotten his aerobics music. Thinking quickly, he grabbed whatever tapes he had in his backpack. Beto's tapes were comprised of songs he loved, the traditional Latin salsa and merengue music he listened to all his life. But it was a challenge to improvise a whole class on the spot using non-traditional aerobics music. Beto rose to the challenge and from this last-minute improvisation a revolutionary new concept in fitness was born – the Zumba Fitness-Party™! The class soon became the most popular class at his fitness facility.

*More Info. at- Zumba Fitness

So go to a class! Try something new and you will be amazed at how much fun you really can have while working up a sweat.

Check out these great Zumba Sites-

Pojo Fitness

Zumba with Allison

Zumba Fitness

Monday, October 26, 2009


Fresh pomegranates are generally found in the produce section of your local market between September and November.

Now you know what a pomegranate is, but what does it do? Pomegranate juice has properties that are similar to aspirin in that it helps prevent blood clots. Pomegranates are high in antioxidants, which are believed to prevent atherosclerosis.

Another health benefit found in pomegranates is the increase in the amount of oxygen that gets to the heart muscle. It is believed that drinking three 8 ounce glasses of pomegranate juice can be beneficial to the heart. It has been report that prolonged drinking of pomegranate juice may help fight erectile dysfunction. Researchers are also optimistic that that pomegranate may prevent prostate cancer or possibly even inhibit the progression of the disease. Investigators are even finding evidence that pomegranate can reduce the risk of breast cancer.

There is a lot of recent evidence that shows that pomegranate juice has many health benefits and would be a value to your diet. Scientists are starting to look into pomegranate juice for reducing the effect s of arthritis. Swelling is believed to be reduced. While this is still in the early stages of development, there is no harm in adding pomegranate to you diet and it just may help.

While pomegranate juice is known as a remedy for diarrhea, if you drink too much of it you could end up with constipation. One other problem that you may encounter with pomegranate juice is the way it can interact with medication. It is similar to grapefruit juice in that respect.

Check out more info. about the above article at 'Pomegranates: The New Super Food'

While this is all great information, when I was in Jr. High my nutrition teacher taught me that anything (veggie or fruit) that is deep in color, eg. spinach, beets, rasberries, etc, is full of all kinds of vitamins and minerals and is super good for you. I think that pomegranates definitely fall into that category, so eat up!